Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Not content with unemployment - now the Government wants to boost crime too

Government proposals to cut police budgets across the country by nearly half a billion pounds a year are nothing less than a disaster for communities.

They were included today in a series of reforms to the way policing is done here in the UK, and they are couched in terms of making better use of IT, cutting down bureaucracy and, surprisingly, thinning down street patrols.

But the reality is that you can't make cuts like this without losing jobs - and this is a measure which will take bobbies off the street and put them on the dole.

People want to see more police patrolling their neighbourhoods - not less - and any cuts that mean we see less uniformed patrols getting to know communities and listening to neighbourhood priorities, will be likely to lead to an increase in crime and, crucially, the fear of crime.

We are seeing the costs of bailing out the banks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coming home to roost: effectively we are being asked to pay for bankers' bonuses with the safety of our communities.

Here in Sussex the Chief Constable had already warned that jobs could go in the face of a £35m shortfall, even before today's announcement.

Greens believe that neighbourhood policing is working - and shouldn't be abandoned: no police jobs should go.

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